Understanding the Amendments: Amendment One, Forever Wild

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The Forever Wild Amendment has garnered a fair bit of attention, including television ads.  The amendment would renew the Forever Wild Land Trust for another 20 years.

WHNT News 19 Political Analyst Dr. Jess Brown explains what that land trust accomplishes.

"The state either buys up or leases thousands of thousands of acres, and they're allowed to lease or buy the land for what are either called ecological purposes or recreational purposes."

It helps the state government buy lands for everything from environmental protection to setting up hunting grounds.

Dr. Brown notes Alabama lags behind other states when it comes to state-owned lands.  Amendment One could help us catch up.

Besides, you learn studying government that money attracts more money.

"At times, the Forever Wild money is used to leverage and help us get federal grants, help the state team up with units of local government," said Dr. Brown.

But some fiscal hawks see this as a chance to force the government to save some cash.

"If over 20 years, each year you don't spend $10 million dollars, then over the life of the program, that's $200 million dollars, that would cover about 40 percent of the indebtedness incurred and imposed on the trust fund by the September 18th vote," Dr. Brown said.

However, it's important to note the legislature already has the money set aside.

"It does not incur any form of indebtedness or any form of burden on the state's investment fund that is not already there," said Dr. Brown.  "It is in large measure a continuation of the status quo."

So in the forever wild world of Alabama politics, voters will get the chance to decide the future of the Forever Wild Land Trust.

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